More than three-fourths of the elderly needing assistance is cared for by family members, many of whom also work outside the home. What implications does this have for employers? What types of employer policies might be appropriate regarding those engaged in providing long-term care for a family member?

Discuss: In what ways does assuring quality in the long-term care industry pose special challenges to regulators and consumers?

The value of informal long-term care provided by family members and friends is estimated at over $450 billion annually, more than double the national expenditures for skilled nursing and home care combined. Much of this cost would fall to government if it were not for this informal system. Would you support government assistance for informal caregivers, through mechanisms such as tax reduction incentives, or subsidy for respite care? Why or why not? If not, what alternative measures would you propose to help keep the informal system intact?

Shortages of health care personnel in the long-term care industry pose critical future challenges to the health care system. Review reasons for these shortages. Suggest government and institutional policy changes that might help attract more workers to this industry.

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